The Carolina Boxing Club’s main source of strength comes from its family-like bond in addition to the countless hours of physical training it does to compete.
“The club is really focused on creating a family atmosphere for the people that want to join the club,” club President Austin Ewanick said. “We work to train them, push them and we’re going to be their friend.”
The club is still relatively new, founded back in 2018. Despite this, several members had nothing but high remarks, similar to Ewanick’s, regarding the tight-knit culture the group has developed.
“I think I’d be a much different person if I didn’t come here,” Ryan Chief, a member of the club, said. “This is a great place to come and meet new people. All these guys here are my friends, and it’s been great for me not just as a boxer, but just a person in general too.”
Members emphasized the friendships the group has helped foster. These close relationships have not only helped socially but even mentally during training.
“If you’re going to step in the ring and start punching each other, you gotta be friends or it’s not going to be fun," Joshua Braun, another member of the club, said.
In addition to creating new bonds, the club prides itself on helping fighters of all levels train to become the best boxing version of themselves. Members come from a wide variety of athletic backgrounds, ranging from people with no experience athletically, to cross country runners, football players and former fighters. Despite this variety, members had positive things to say about the progress each has achieved so far with the club.
“I’m a tall, lanky guy, so my footwork was awkward, my hand-eye coordination with my hand wasn’t good and I wasn’t getting my range correct,” Chief said. “Now, I’m one of the older guys in the club team I feel like and I’ve definitely improved exponentially over the past couple years.”
Chief said that he’s now able to focus a lot more on the strategic side of boxing because of the physical training he’s gone through during his time with the club. He also said that it works as a great stress reliever and helps clear his mind.
The club trains its members not only for their physical and mental well-being, but also to help prepare fighters who hope to compete on any level of boxing. The club participates in a wide variety of events to help fighters accomplish this.
“We did have an interclub tournament with a bunch of the guys that we did back in the beginning of May (2021),” Ewanick said. “It was just a great time for people to come out, get some pizza, and watch their friends fight and see what they’ve been working on every single week for the semester.”
Ewanick did note that because of the COVID-19 regulations, the club has only been able to have the aforementioned interclub tournament in the past year.
However, members are encouraged to compete on the amateur level at individual events. Club Vice President Jake Early is one of the club’s amateur fighters with pro aspirations.
“I’m registered as a USA amateur, and I just got my fifth win this past week,” Early said. “I’d love to hang around Columbia for a couple of years and get my feet wet in the professional scene and fight a few times, even if it’s two or three fights and I never do it again. I’d just love to see how far I can go with it.”
Beyond the outside events, Ewanick said that while it waits to have more intraclub events, the main focus of the club is just to make sure all members are in the best boxing shape possible.
For those looking to join the club, Ewanick said that members should have a pair of their own gloves and wrist wraps. Additionally, he encourages potential newcomers to come by and watch a meeting prior to joining to feel the atmosphere.
“I would just encourage a very positive mindset and just kind of a dedication to not quit,” Ewanick said regarding the mindset one should have coming into the club.
The Carolina Boxing Club meets at 5 p.m. on Monday's and Wednesday's and at 3 p.m. on Friday's. The club meets at the Battle Boxing Gym in Columbia.
Editor's note: Information regarding the Carolina Boxing Club's practice schedule was updated on March 2 at 6:30 p.m.